CHARIS Mavrias could still have a future at Sunderland, if he impresses during his loan spell at Panathinaikos.
Mavrias returned to Greece on transfer deadline day after agreeing to join former club Panathinaikos on a loan deal until the end of the season.
As the Echo reported last week, no permanent clause has been inserted into the loan deal, although Panathinaikos are likely to push to keep the Greek international at the end of the season.
By then, Mavrias will only have a year left on his Sunderland deal after featuring just six times for the Black Cats since arriving in a £2million move from Panathinaikos in 2013.
But Sunderland boss Gus Poyet will keep an open mind and if Mavrias catches the eye at Panathinaikos, there remains a possibility that he could be given a second chance at the Stadium of Light.
Poyet told the Echo: “It depends on him (whether he has a future at Sunderland).
“He needs to play.
“Playing means performing well and seeing him improving.
“The only way to judge him is after five or six games of him playing regularly.
“At the moment, it’s been difficult.”
However, it remains likely that Sunderland will look to shift Mavrias permanently in the summer after the 20-year-old’s minimal impact in a red and white shirt.
Sunderland were pro-actively looking to shift Mavrias from the wage bill last month and offered him to several Championship suitors, only for Panathinaikos and fellow Greek side PAOK to make the only concrete offers.
Panathinaikos struggled financially to put together a package to re-sign Mavrias, but will still look to re-sign the winger at the end of his loan.
Sunderland are also likely to attempt to permanently shift two of the other recruits from ex-director of football Roberto De Fanti’s spending spree, Valentin Roberge and El-Hadji Ba.
Both Roberge and Ba returned to their native France last summer, to join Reims and Bastia respectively on season-long loans.